Sandole, Dennis

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Sandole, Dennis

Sandole, Dennis , jazz educator, composer, guitarist; b. Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 29, 1913. He was self-taught and toured as a guitarist and arranger in the bands of Ray McKinley (c. July-December 1942), Tommy Dorsey (February 1943-May 1944), Boyd Raeburn (May and June 1944), and Charlie Barnet (c. April-August 1946); Barnet recorded Sandole’s composition “Dark Bayou.” In the early and mid-1940s, he also did studio work, including film soundtracks in Hollywood. During his Hollywood days, he began to develop original concepts for teaching guitar that became his unpublished method Guitar Lore. Around the fall of 1946, just after leaving Barnet, he began to devote himself to teaching at a Philadelphia school and then at nearby Granoff Studios. He still performed on occasion, including gigs on 52nd Street in N.Y. During much of the 1950s, Sandole was involved in a writers’ workshop along with James Moody, Benny Golson, Thad Jones, Art Farmer, and Al “Tootie” Heath, musicians would get together to play and discuss each other’s compositions. During this period, Art Farmer and James Moody recorded his pieces. Sandole and his younger brother Adolphe (1918-c. 1981), a composer who played reed instruments and piano, recorded an album entitled Modern Music from Philadelphia. From the 1960s through the 1990s, he continued to run a private studio in Philadelphia.


Modern Music from Philadelphia (1956).

—Lewis Porter